“You mean thoughts and feelings?”

speak

I got stuck in a pain loop. Embarrassing amounts of overthinking took place. I learned some shit, such as I’m quite sensitive. I also don’t hold back my positive feelings about other people. I regularly tell them, usually in an awkward, clumsy, corny manner. It sometimes makes the recipient of my affection seemingly feel uncomfortable with me. Some people become suspicious and even hostile. They assume I have ulterior motives behind sharing because my words alone are indistinguishable from flattery. (It’s all outside of my control.)

Most often, the exchange results in my becoming aware I didn’t meet expectations. I’m fifty. Thus, this process is a filter. It systematically eliminates people who, for whatever reason, aren’t willing to meet me halfway. (Tick-tock, so.) It took me a while to get here. When the pain hit, I wept. While the pain was emotional, my response was the same as when I got a spinal tap, only slower. I was surprised by the intensity, followed by replaying the event until I could process it (while simultaneously bawling.) Communicating with others is entirely a horseshoes and hand grenades situation for me.

I long for precision, but my access to words (especially in realtime) is unreliable. I imagine most people search and locate the concepts necessary to express their thoughts far more quickly and precisely than me. I’m using whichever words stored in recent memory are close enough to convey a semblance of my view. I’m aiming for timeliness, relevancy, and accuracy, knowing it will ultimately be a compromise between them, at best. I prefer writing to speaking because I’m allowed more time and tools to find the words I seek.

cute dog

However, even with these perks, the message still originates in my neurodivergent mind. From my perspective, it feels a lot like I speak a language known only to myself and those who are interested enough to learn. My English is good enough if the message is simple, but I’m most fluent in music. I’m socially tone-deaf in many ways. I feel like I’m talking through refrigerator magnets to a world of preoccupied scholars. I have ideas and want to be part of the conversation, so I risk and risk and risk. I lean heavily on hope, and I cry when it doesn’t work out.

The Good News: Being neurodivergent means I’ll likely never encounter another human whose brain is wired similarly to my own. This fact is a fabulous opportunity to build communication skills that allow me to successfully connect with diverse people, just by talking to them.

The Other News: Many of these conversations hurt my feelings. Some people behave in a manner I interpret as rejection, usually, without a satisfactory explanation. So far, I’ve chosen to grieve when this happens. The depth varies from momentary sadness to a pain loop involving lots of snot and tears. Then I spend time imagining all sorts of potential reasons the person rejected me. Soon, I think of so many, the exercise seems silly to pursue. The answer is always: insufficient information to draw a satisfactory conclusion. I hate it every time, but at least it’s consistent (AF.)

uncertain

I’m a romantic. I didn’t see that coming, but the evidence is overwhelming. I romanticize (famous) people I don’t know who fascinate me. It’s wholly rigged. The distance and lack of intimacy make forgiving mistakes easy, and thus, good practice for when those close to me do so. I suspect I grow each time an unsuccessful connection attempt crushes me. Every so often, I meet someone who chooses to connect despite the effort required. As we communicate over time, the awkwardness and odd style become integrated into a mutually understood language. While still not precise or typical, it can potentially lead to a cherished bond.

It probably comes as no surprise, but I celebrate the shit out of fruitful connections with people. Yep. Choreography is involved. (Duh.) ๐Ÿ™ƒ I also forgive people who hurt me. It doesn’t matter if I understand things like motives, or how others feel about me. My experience involves how I choose to feel and behave. My romantic ass is confused by the event, but there’s no animosity. (I would have to imagine malice to get there, and I don’t wanna.) I mean, I make mistakes all day long. It’s one of the ways I learn and grow. Moving on to whatever comes next. (In Crocs. I’m a cleaning person, yo.) ๐Ÿ’œโœŒ๐Ÿฝ

p.s. I (over) estimated it would take me a month to get unstuck (and stop forsaking the internet.) I was wrong. Yay? Yay. I’m going to begin recording my previous posts (vocally) as a means of practicing my speech (at least until I can talk on the phone again.) As I progress, I will repost them with the audio track. I made them private because I hide when I’m hurt, like a cat or something. Literal, remember? ๐Ÿคญ

8 thoughts on ““You mean thoughts and feelings?”

  • Have you heard the saying Never trust a fast talker? So very true. My philosophy is to be true to who I really am so people can decide if they like that type of person or not. Iโ€™m okay with it. Iโ€™ll be 50 this year. I have like, very few friends that stay in contact at this point. Iโ€™m oddly okay with it because mean people suck and luckily those have all drifted away.

    Just keep being your authentic self, be unique and kind. People arenโ€™t remembered for when they acted like everyone else. ๐Ÿ’œ

    • Ooh, then you actually probably shouldn’t trust me. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am regularly noted to be one of the fastest speakers anyone has ever heard. And, I interrupt and talk over people reflexively because of my own neurodiversity. But, funny enough, I don’t typically have issues with those who talk significantly less. Among the neurodiverse, we seem to work out a rhythm. Why is it only with NTs that one side of the conversation is universally dubbed to be the “wrong” one and snubbed?

      • ๐Ÿ™‚ โ€˜Fast talkerโ€™, to me, means someone who is trying to be smooth or sell you something, a charmer. I should have explained that. ๐Ÿ™‚ My son is a fast talker literally. His brain works very quickly. Home schooling him was shocking. I apologize for not being more specific that I was using slang. Iโ€™m a listener, and I appreciate all paces of speech, but people trying to sell me on stuff … nope, no way.

      • Haha. Oh, no, I figured that. That was why I put the winky face! But, sadly, a whole lot of people do seem to think that literal fast talking means I have something to hide. I read all the time these “how do you tell when someone is lying” pop psychology guides. And, it’s always “won’t look you in the eye, talks fast, overexplains what should be a simple story, has a pulled in body posture and fidgets.” And, I’m just like, “gee, thanks for the anti-neurodiverse bias there.” But, I knew that wasn’t what you meant. So, don’t worry!

      • ๐Ÿ˜Š My son over explains, sometimes heading back to the very beginning, of a story, and I am horrific at eye contact. I read somewhere that childhood trauma can lead to adults that donโ€™t make great eye contact. Thereโ€™s this typical expectation for communication, but at the end of the day, and thankfully so, not all of us fit in the tidy conformist rows of society. And honestly Iโ€™m so thankful for that! (Ps sorry to high jack your blog for this conversation!! )

  • Lavender, thanks for demonstrating the correct usages of the words neurodivergent and neurodiverse. (I probably won’t retain it, but now I know where to get a quick example I grok.) ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿฝ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿคญ

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